It was truly a wild Boxing Day spectacle, as West Ham United couldn’t steal a win at the Vitaly Stadium, conceding to Callum Wilson late into second half stoppage time for Bournemouth to salvage a 3-3 draw.
It was entertainment from start to finish, as the 17th and 18th place teams in the Premier League knew a sense of urgency was required. And despite the Cherries early control of the game, it was the Hammers who scored first when James Collins delivered a quality header in the 7th minute. But Bournemouth responded from their own set piece, as Dan Gosling smashed home in the 29th minute to level.
Eddie Howe’s side would then take the lead in the 57th minute, when the excellent Gosling found Nathan Ake for him to tap the ball behind Adrian.
But the Hammers were given a true holiday gift, when Asmir Begovic’s mistake of a pass lead to an easy goal for Marko Aranutovic to level the match in the 81st minute.
And if you thought one gift was going to be enough from Begovic, he delivered another one to the Austrian when he failed to hold onto Javier Hernandez’s shot to give Arnautovic his second goal in eight minutes to provide West Ham a 3-2 lead, seemingly on the verge of stealing all three points.
But Bournemouth added to the comedy, when Callum Wilson was first denied but given the headed goal, after major consternation from the Cherries players, to dramatically tie the match three minutes into stoppage time.
It was a Boxing Day classic, if not in the defensive sense, for the Premier League, but a sign with how both teams know they have to be better to avoid a seemingly inevitable relegation fight.
Amazingly enough for the Hammers, that is the finale for them in 2017. They will have a rare, nice, normal break during the holiday period, as they play against West Brom on January 2.